Mental Health Cooperative opens clinic in Memphis

Published: May. 5, 2023 at 4:49 PM CDT|Updated: May. 6, 2023 at 7:20 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A mental health care system found across Tennessee is now offering care to people in the greater Memphis area.

Mental Health Cooperative opened its Memphis location on Summer Avenue on April 3. The clinic services both the uninsured and those insured by TennCare.

“If you look at just the demographics of Memphis, Memphis has about three times as many people on Medicaid as Nashville does for example,” explained Chief Executive Officer Pam Womack. “It’s a very underserved population. There’s just not that many agencies in Memphis that cater to this population. And there’s a lot of folks going in and out of state hospitals.”

The Memphis location is personal to Womack. She was born and raised in Memphis.

“My dad was a Memphis Transit Authority bus driver,” Womack explained. “My mother was a teacher. My child was born there. I got married there; I got divorced there. My parents are buried there… It’s really a special place for me.”

Womack left Memphis and moved to Nashville to work at the Department of Mental Health in 1983. She founded the Mental Health Cooperative 10 years later in Nashville.

The opening of the Memphis clinic comes close to Mental Health Cooperative’s 30-year anniversary date. Womack said she’s excited to celebrate the history of the company and the beginning of a new mental healthcare system in the city.

“We had a patient or a young man walk in and said ‘Is this the mental health cooperative?’” Pam said. “We said, ‘Yes, come on in.’ And he said ‘Well, I was a consumer or client of yours in Nashville and I want to come back.’ So, he walked in and we signed him up. He was our first person.”

Mental Health Cooperative is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

A grand opening for the space will take place this summer.

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